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US Marine Corps F-4 Phantom II Units of the Vietnam War

US Marine Corps F-4 Phantom II Units of the Vietnam War Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review February 2013 Title US Marine Corps F-4 Phantom II Units of the Vietnam War
Author Peter Davies Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 9781849087513
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.95


Since August 1962, 25 US Marine Corps squadrons have flown McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs.

And Peter Davies centers his absorbing account on the 11 serving in Southeast Asia from May 1965 to early 1973 in OSREY's US Marine Corps F-4 Phantom II Units of the Vietnam War.

After brief Phantom II development notes, the author deftly chronicles missions and tactics – from air strikes supporting US Army troops to low-altitude attacks on enemy troops.

Davies also leavens his history with personal anecdotes.  And those offer exciting insights into the dangers facing these Marine aviators.

Like the lucky escape of VMFA-323 Capt Dennis Brandon – and his "Death Rattlers" CO, Lt Col Harry Hagaman.  While on a "nape and Snake" run, .50-caliber fire mortally wounded their F-4.  Brandon quickly ejected while Hagaman vainly tried to stabilize the bucking Rhino.  But the doomed plane began flipping end-over-end.  And the world became a "spinning blur of blue and green" barely 100 ft above ground.  Hagaman ejected just seconds before the F-4 cart-wheeled to destruction.

Color and B&W photos enhance Davies' informative introduction.  Jim Laurier's 30 color profiles offer ample modeling inspiration.  An appendix conveniently lists all USMC F-4 units deployed to Southeast Asia.  And an index brings everything to tidy conclusion.

But I wish the author had included an acronym glossary with his narrative.  Military novices would benefit from that!

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!